Miramar head football coach Damon Cogdell has seen a number of talented players during his coaching career, but he may not have had one that fits every bill of a position as well as wide receiver Devonte Mathis, who pledged to the Mountaineers earlier this week.
"He's a big kid – 6-5, 205 pounds – but he can really do it all for us," Cogdell said while preparing his team for a playoff game this weekend. "He can run, and we use him every way possible."
Most wide receiver prospects have one set of physical attributes that make them suitable for a particular style of offense, or one position, or certain kinds of routes. According to Cogdell, that's not the case with Mathis.
"He can run any kind of route for us. The quick out, a fade, a nine route, deep, he can run them all," Cogdell said, who also has highly-regarded wideout Malcolm Lewis on his roster. "He is a big strong guy, and he has played quarterback, so that tells you about his ability."
At West Virginia, Mathis would likely be an outside receiver, where he could use his size and strength to best benefit against corners. He has the ability to "post up" against smaller players and get the ball, but also has the speed to get deep and attack the ball up high. In short, he is the sort of all-around threat that is required on the outside of the West Virginia offense, and the hope is that he can fit in quickly in the WVU attack.
Cogdell is equally impressed with Mathis' demeanor. A quiet personality hides a strong competitive streak, and his desire to improve stands out to the Miramar coach.
"What you see is what you get with Devonte," Cogdell said. "He takes coaching well, and when you tell him something he takes it in and works on it. He stays pretty even and doesn't let things get to him."